It may not carry the clout that it would have a few months ago but celebrity neurosurgeon Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump on Friday. Dr. Carson, who dropped out of the race last week should shore up Trump with the evangelical demographic and fend off at least some of Team Cruz’s poaching of the critical element of the GOP base. The Donald let the cat out of the bag at last night’s CNN debate and the formal announcement – barring any last minute changes of heart – will come this morning.

As reported by Fox News “Ben Carson to endorse Trump”:

Ben Carson, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race just last week, will endorse front-runner Donald Trump on Friday.

Trump confirmed the endorsement during the Republican presidential debate Thursday night.

The retired neurosurgeon plans to hold a press conference at 9 a.m. ET Friday to announce his support, sources told Fox News.

The backing from the outsider ex-candidate, who captivated conservative voters with his unconventional campaign, could give Trump a boost as the candidates charge into critical primaries next Tuesday in Florida, Ohio and three other states.

It also serves as a potential counterweight as other ex-candidates weigh in against him. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina endorsed Ted Cruz earlier this week, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is meeting with Trump’s rivals, though it’s unclear whether he might endorse someone before Tuesday.

The Washington Post first reported on Carson’s expected endorsement. Sources told the Post that Carson agreed to the endorsement after a meeting with Trump at the billionaire’s Mar-a-Lago luxury home in Palm Beach, Fla.

The one time presidential candidate was competitive in polls as late as November but after a series of unforced errors and inconsistencies in his books tripped him up he never recovered. With Carson wounded and Trump smelling blood, the Donald went on to launch a number of searing attacks that inferred that the good doctor was a psychopath and had the pathology of a child molester but that’s just good old-fashioned brass knuckle politics. Apparently all is forgiven now after Trump took Carson’s side after Team Cruz’s dirty tricks in Iowa last month. While some reports are speculating that Carson may target Marco Rubio’s senate seat in Florida he may actually prefer a position in a Trump administration.